Customer Experience: Play your own Gig


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The first and only rule to follow when embarking on the journey to provide impeccable service and a fantastic customer experience:

Do not follow any company that provides great service.

You read that right.
No following, no copying, no aping, no footstep retracing.
You would say that’s crazy advice. But there is method to this madness.

The success of companies is always inspiring. Their grit, determination, innovativeness and focus are lessons we must imbibe for our journey to success.

But they have had their own unique challenges and have found their own unique way out of it. Your business will have its set of unique situations that will also demand its own unique solutions. Copying others will not get you their kind of success.

Learning Curve
Companies that give a fabulous customer experience today weren’t always this great. They have matured to this level of service over years of tribulation, navigating a long learning curve. Comparing their quality of service to your own is like apples to oranges.

There’s No Magic, Only Persistence and Time
But the one thing you can learn from their success is that there is no magic wand, no #(insert any number here) steps to success, no tips & tricks, no shortcuts. It’s all done through hard work, belief and dedication. Hitting roadblocks and finding ways to either move them or go around. Failing enough times that the only option forward is success.

There is no set formula. And applying everything you read is not the solution. Taking a sledgehammer to a nail in the wall, or excavating an archeological site with a spoon, are both futile efforts. It’s all about finding the right tools to get the job done.

Your Gig
Though I did say there are no # steps to success, there is a sequence to followed that logically aligns business onto the path of success; a path that needs a customer centric service philosophy and strategy, with a methodology for execution and assessment.

1.     Understand the business from the customer’s perspective: Getting to know how the customer perceives the business gives that fine edge to design a service strategy that can deliver an experience that exceeds the customer’s expectations.
Customer expectation is the cornerstone of business. Build around it.

2.     Design service strategy with inputs: The service frontline lives the service strategy, and their perspective on practical constraints of operations, cross-function coordination, employee competency and systems (technical) is vital. Drop the ball on any of these and goodbye service quality, hello customer dis-satisfaction.

3.     Method to deliver service with a focus on emotions: The emotional and experiential components are integral to any service process. The customer responds to these aspects sub-consciously but allots them maximum weightage when assessing satisfaction and experience.

4.     Customer journey mapping: This process of assessing and analyzing the customer experience across all touch-points in the organization and identifying the gaps helps improve the experience.  Service failures may occur anywhere within the business but the customer experiences them at the touch-points. Service delivery managed well at these touch-points can salvage the experience despite service failures.

Stay true to this sequence and design your own service strategy that aligns to your customer’s expectations. The success of the design will be limited only by the levels of your commitment and perseverance.

Be inspired by all the achievers in the business world, but play your own gig to create fantastic customer experience.

Customer Journey Map by Megan Grocki  on

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Sunil Panikker
Sunil Panikker is a business consultant specializing in customer service, operations and business strategy. He has honed his expertise over 30 years of experience, working in senior management positions, with companies having global footprints, and responsibilities that have been cross-functional & multi-locational. His blog shares the experience and expertise assimilated from managing customer experience across multiple diverse industries.


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